The Colorado Avalanche could end up in the western division if the realignment proposal is accepted.
The Colorado Avalanche don’t know when they’ll begin their 2020-21 season thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. The only thing we know for sure is it technically won’t be an actual 2020-21 season as there won’t be any games played in 2020.
Several scenarios are being talked about for when the season will actually start. January 1st was the official start date for a long time. At best, though, that might be when players report for training camp. January 15 might be the soonest even the preseason can start, with maybe a February 1 regular season.
Another scenario that’s been floated out is the temporary realignment of NHL teams. The rationale is to minimize how much travel teams must complete to hopefully minimize cross-contamination with the virus. To that end, the Canadian teams would be in their own division so that teams wouldn’t have to cross the border for games.
According to Pierre LeBrun, the current realignment would have the Avalanche in a division according to the following:
- Anaheim Ducks
- Arizona Coyotes
- Dallas Stars
- LA Kings
- San Jose Sharks
- St. Louis Blues
- Vegas Golden Knights
- Colorado Avalanche
Meanwhile, a midwestern division would look like this:
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Detroit Red Wings
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Florida Panthers
- Minnesota Wild
- Nashville Predators
- Tampa Bay Lightning
Just call it the COVID division, considering the states involved and their numbers.
The eastern division would look like this:
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Washington Capitals
And, of course, the Canadian division:
- Calgary Flames
- Edmonton Oilers
- Montreal Canadiens
- Ottawa Senators
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Vancouver Canucks
- Winnipeg Jets
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Besides the midwestern division being COVID capital, there are only a couple other non-Avs observations I have to make. One is that the new eastern division is brutal. There are some very good to excellent teams on there. And then there are the Sabres and Devils. Yikes.
Second, the Canadian division sees a LOT of travel. Their north-south travel is fully replaced with a lot of east-west movement. That is if the teams travel regularly within their division. One of the ideas that was talked about was teams playing in hubs.
In any case, the realignment that sees the Avalanche go to the west is intriguing. Many of the teams have been weak, including Anaheim, Arizona, LA, and San Jose. All NHL teams are capable of winning games. However, those could be some easier games for Colorado.
That said, the division isn’t without it’s tough competition. The Avalanche will have failed to get rid of both St. Louis and Dallas, two teams that were tough for them the last couple of years. And they would have acquired Vegas, which is equally tough.
The Avs don’t like any of those teams, and the feeling is mutual. Avs fans hate all those teams and those fans. So, we could see some exciting rivalries in the making.
I don’t mind the potential realignment for the Colorado Avalanche. Honestly, I think a lot of us will just be happy to get some hockey back. And the Avs are so well-constructed that they can hang in any division.